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FUKUOKA — Passing your twilight years in Japan used to entail long days of contemplation and an austere diet of tofu. Sound dull? The good news is that doctors these days recommend an active social life for a happy, healthy old age. The bad news is, according to medical practitioner Magoe Ando, you’ll still need to adopt a strict diet — and well before your hair turns gray.

For 40 years, Ando has advocated a diet of unrefined, low-calorie foods and, at 83, he’s a sprightly example of its apparent benefits. Born in Niigata Prefecture in 1918, he was an only child and spoiled with fat- and sugar-rich foods. He believes this exacerbated his already sickly disposition. After moving to Fukuoka aged 15, in his early 20s he began experimenting with his diet to improve his health.

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